The Return of Tesla in NJ?

In March of this year Executive Director of Consumers’ Research, Joseph Colangelo, wrote an op-ed published in the NJ Star Ledger (read it here) illustrating the dangers posed by the NJ State Government’s decision to close Tesla showrooms that sold cars directly to consumers.

It looks like the NJ State Legislature took some of Mr. Colangelo’s argument to heart. The Star Ledger reports that a bill which will allow for existing Tesla showrooms to re-start sales was approved by the NJ State Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee yesterday. The bill will allow for of the two existing Tesla showrooms to restart their practice of selling directly to the consumer as well as the possibility to open two more show rooms in NJ in the future.  Both Tesla and members of the NJ State Legislature are excited about these recent events.

The Star Ledger Reports:

Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s vice president of business development, told the committee that the company’s direct-to-customer sales model “fundamentally aligns with Tesla’s core strategy.”

“This is a super important issue for us in New Jersey, and as some of you would know, nationally as well,” O’Connell said, adding the bill would “allow us to in a modest way and a reasonable way conduct the business of educating the public about electric vehicles and getting as many of those vehicles on the road as quickly as possible.”

O’Connell said the company is working on a new model that would start at $35,000.

“New Jersey prides itself as being pro-business, pro-innovative and pro-jobs. And this is a company that is an American company, an American idea,” said Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Bergen), a sponsor, “I think we would be mistaken if we didn’t’ reverse the idea that the MVC made, making it illegal to sell Teslas in New Jersey.”

While the bill still needs to be approved by the greater NJ Assembly to go into effect, it is definitely a step in the right direction in re-allowing the sale of Tesla cars, as well as other zero emission vehicles, back into the state. As is stated in Mr. Colangelo’s op-ed, the original decision to ban the sale of Tesla vehicles in NJ was due to the fact that Tesla’s business model of selling directly to consumers challenged the interests of existing NJ auto dealers. However, this newly proposed bill, if approved, will allow consumers to once again purchase Teslas directly from the manufacturer. This will allow consumers more choice when it comes to their vehicle, as well as lower prices. Consumers in NJ will be able to purchase a Tesla without paying the additional fees that are associated with buying a car from an auto dealer.

Though the bill has yet to become law, its introduction to the Assembly is extremely beneficial for consumers in NJ. Consumers’ Research will continue to monitor the progress of this bill as it pushes towards once again allowing the sale of Teslas in NJ.

Read More Here- “Pro-Tesla electric car bill advances in NJ Assembly”, (Matt Friedman, The Star-Ledger)


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A rising senior at Colgate University, John is currently working as a research fellow with Consumers' Research.


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